The Greater Harrington Community Development Corporation is planning their inaugural gala, hoping community members will masquerade the night away in support of the Hope House.

The event, scheduled for Saturday night, at the Harrington Raceway & Casino, will feature live music, fine dining and plenty of opportunities for dancing and networking as the night goes on, according to the Hope House’s Director of Development Lakia Moore.

“The gala came to be as a fundraiser to support the Greater Harrington Community Development Corporation,” she explained. “We have a house we call the Hope House. We offer a number of initiatives there. It could be anything from tutoring services to our partnership with the state so people who need to sign up for state benefits can come do that.”

The organization also provides workshops on homebuying, credit repair and other situations from the Hope House, as well as services directed toward children.

“We have a computer lab, too, which we want to use throughout the year for tutoring. And we have ways to get the youth active and busy and to give them the things they need to be successful,” she said. “The money raised from the gala will go back to those types of offerings and to help with the upkeep of the house, as well.”

The home itself has a strong history and connection to the Harrington community as it was the home of Dr. William Thomas Chipman.
He died in 1961 at the age of 70 years old after working as a physician for 39 years, according to his obituary. He was eventually elected to serve as a representative in the Delaware General Assembly and became the first president of the Harrington Chamber of Commerce, among just a few of his community-wide contributions.

“My understanding that Dr. Chipman lived upstairs and he saw patients downstairs. The plan is really to do upgrades and remodel, but keeping the history of the home, and the charm, intact,” Ms. Moore said. “So, you’ll hear the typical, ‘Oh, you have old man Chipman’s house. I think he would be proud of what we’re doing here today.”

The home itself has already seen some upgrades as the organization purchased it several years ago, however, they hope to make it wheelchair accessible in the near future, she added.
The Greater Harrington Community Development Corporation also purchased about 26 acres of land in Harrington to further develop their mission “. . .to facilitate continuous, long-term improvements through community development and foster positive change for those who live, learn, and labor in the Harrington, Delaware and surrounding communities.”

The goal, Ms. Moore said, is to create a larger, more modern community center to expand on their offerings and better serve the community.
“Over the last decade or so, we’ve seen so many changes in the world as we know it that have undoubtedly had trickle down effects on small communities. From being displaced from homes to rising unemployment rates and underemployed people. We’ve met young people desiring to do amazing things with parents limited in their ability to help them get there. We’ve encountered people unsure where their next meal is coming from to people who have a desire to do and have better but lack the resources or guidance to get them there,” LeFeisha Cannon said of the organization.

“We saw an opportunity to help people get to their greater place in life and decided to focus our efforts on ways we could help people be better – better parents, better children, better students, better employees, better neighbors, better citizens and ultimately create a better community for future generations,” she added.
The gala is one way to do just that while enjoying a night out with fine dining, dancing, a silent auction and live music.

“The purpose of this gala is really to raise awareness of this organization and the offerings of the Hope House and raise funds to keep us going. I think there’s a number of people who live in Harrington who are not really sure of what goes on in their own backyard,” Ms. Moore said.

Tickets are still on sale for $50 each and can be purchased by visiting the organization online at www.greaterharrington.org.

Reach staff writer Jennifer Antonik at jantonik@newszap.com

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